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STROP

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  1. There is no reason why the Belgian Gladiators should have had blue painted rudders; the only colors applied on the rudders were the national flag and even that was deleted when the planes got the kakhi camouflage. And blue makes no sense either in connection with the Comet Squadron, and no other aircraft type had "coloured" rudders. I do not know of any Belgian source that mentions the blue rudders, it seems definitely a (wrong) interpretation of b/w pictures.
  2. I found 3 models of the Alpha Jet in my collection, which I have built years ago. Man, they look awful, the varnish I used has yellowed considerably. Two of them are the Heller/ Revell kit with the short dog-tooth. The third one is the Airfix one, but I see no difference in the dog-tooth with the other one, and I see no self-made correction on the wing. But I found the following information by comparison of the photos , instructions , etc. 1. Heller produced around 1980 a kit with 4 sprues , based on the prototype. It can be identified by the complicated split up at the exhausts, the upper and lower parts of the wings have the same size and there are no pilots in the kit. The kit has raised panel lines, but no indication of the air brakes. It has been marketed in several boxes , with a GERMAN Alpha Jet as illustration. This kit has also be marketed by Revell as Alpha Jet A with a length of 18,1 cm and GERMAN markings , and as Alpha Jet E with a length of 16,7 cm with FRENCH markings. 2. Airfix produced about the same time a kit with 3 sprues. It can be identified by the short exhaust pipes , it has a dissimilar split of upper and lower parts of the wings, and there are pilots in the kit. It has been marketed by Airfix originally with a GERMAN Alpha Jet on the box and decals for a German and the Belgian AT-02. It has been re-issued in 2008 with a BRITISH Alpha Jet on the box and decals for a Qinetic A and a Belgian E, code AT-03. This kit has also be marketed by Heller with the same number as the other one, but with FRENCH markings (Patrouille de France). The instructions in these boxes are the same as for the Airfix kit. 3. Scale Aviation Modeller December 2009 published a Modellers Profile (No 29) of the Alpha Jet, with 1/72nd scale drawings made by Bradic Srecko, which are clearly the references KP used for its kit, as the kit parts fit perfectly the drawings. The drawings show the wing dog tooth of the production planes. Unfortunately, Bradic made an error in the length of the planes , measured on the drawing as 16,1 cm for the E , which corresponds to 11,59 m in reality, while on the profile data sheet 12,28 m is given. The error lays entirely at the rear part, aft of the exhausts. The older Airfix / Heller / Revell kits are almost impossible to find now. The alternative is now the KP kit with it (4 mm? ) too short tail.
  3. It does not help very much if the information one can find is wrong too. But I have the Airfix one built years ago , and I will dig it out of my collection and make the comparison. What about the tail length ?
  4. No, the dog- teeth position of the Heller complies with the drawing, on the KP kit is 4mm larger towards the fuselage. Should be / can be correcter. On the other hand the Heller wing is 2.2 mm thick, which is too thin compared with the dwg , the KP wing is 2.6 mm thick, that is more realistic. Btw I bought the German version and it has a rather complete decals sheet for 3 versions.
  5. Last weekend, I could buy the new KP kit at the IPMS Belgium National Convention in Affligem for some 15 Euro. For me , it is a reasonable kit with engraved panel lines, comparable with those on the latest Airfix Harrier kit. It has the usual large sprue connections of KP kits, (which have to be removed , but this should not be a problem for the average modeller) ; no connection pins either, but the parts align well when dry fitted. I compared the kit parts with the scaleable drawing on Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dassault-Dornier_Alphajet.svg which I think is correct and with the parts of the Heller / Revell kit which I had in my stash. That older kit (which is difficult to find anyway) has raised panel lines and landing lights in the wings, but is dimensionally correct. The foreward fuselage of the KP and Heller kits are very similar, but the tail part of the KP kit is some 4 mm shorter than the Heller and the drawing ! It is practically impossible to correct this, however I wonder if it will stand out, once the kit is built. The wings are basically identical, there are differences between both kits for the fuel tanks and the cannon pod, but I haven’t verified these. The Heller kit has a complicated split up for the underside and engine outlets with 3 parts, the KP solution is much easier to build. The KP kit contains nose cones for the 3 versions A, E and MS, and the nose streaks of the E versions moulded with the fuselage sides. Unfortunately, these nose streaks are too short for the E versions, which explains why the nose looks too long in the test build, and they are absent on the A version. They should be removed in both cases , and replaced by some plasticard streaks of the right size for the E versions. The KP kit has only a basic representation of the Sentrel ejection seats of the German / Portuguese planes, which need improvement (or should be replaced by Pavla resin seats). The old Heller has even coarser representations of Martin Baker seats (for the E version) but here one can find good resin MB Mk10 seats made by PJ Production. If you can live with the “short” tail, I think the KP kit is a good basis for a decent Alpha jet in 1/72 , a modeler with some experience can easily make the other desired corrections / improvements. KP intends to bring out the kit with other decals (also Belgians) somewhere in december 2021.
  6. Having Built both the KP and SH kits of the SF260 , I would like to give here my experience with both. The KP kit(s) came out first and is in my opinion a reasonable short run kit. The sprues in the kit are the same for all the kits and offer a choice of engines and propellers. This has its implication in the parts split up. Yes, the sprue connections are quite thick and must be removed, but that is not an impossible task for the average modeller. Although it has decals for a Belgian plane, the KP kit has not the back seat bench of the Belgian SF260. It should come from the spare box. The dashboard of the kit is not fantastic, I used a spare of the SH kit. Once completed and painted, the difference with the SH kit is barely visible. The SH kit(s) have a higher quality molding with larger sprues and more bits and pieces, it looks better in the box, and being sold for about the same price as KP offer better value for money, but is not a kit that can easily be built OOB. There is a choice of dashboards and other bits, which can be confusing. SH has a tendency for over-engineering and this kit is no exception, making things complicated, such as the split between the propeller and its axle . The rudder pedals are “nice to have” little parts, but invisible once the fuselage is closed. The proposed way to build the kit is not the best . For example there instructions indicate to glue the dashboard to cockpitfloor. It is easier to glue the dashboard to the fuselage instead. The cockpitfloor and the bulkheads parts B1, B2, B4 . are about 0.5 mm too wide and should be sanded a bit to fit easily in the fuselage. Otherwise the fuselage sides will not fit in the upper wing. It is also much easier to glue the cockpitfloor on the wing than to glue it into the fuselage as instructed. The wheel bay ajustment can be done more easily by sanding away the excess plastic in the fuselage. Dry fitting is necessary before joining fuselage and wing, as there are some points such as the bottom sides of the bulkheads which are in the way of a smooth fit, but that can be solved with some cutting and sanding. They integrated the beacon (?) under the plane in the wing part, but the SF260M did not have this. Sanding it away makes a hole in the wing to be filled with putty. It would be easier if they had povided a separate piece for this bump. There is plenty of place in the nose for lead to avoid a tailsitter. The decals of both the KP and the SH are very thin and delicate and have a tendency to coil. Better buy at least two kits to have a spare decal sheet. The second SH kit 72433 offers the “high canopy” version. I measured the two canopies: there is 07.mm difference in height. Nice idea of SH , but barely visible when you put the two together. The ( PE ) wing fences are not present on the Belgian SF260D (as instructed in the kit). I do not have a Flickr account to upload pictures, but I have documented my builds in a scalemates album : https://www.scalemates.com/profiles/mate.php?id=20363&p=albums&album=66079#13
  7. Thank you . Indeed , dry fitting and some sanding is necessary . The nose section is another area where I did not follow their instructions. I glued the two parts to the fuselage halves , instead of making the nose separately. And I send an e-mail to Special Hobby , suggesting that they should provide a one-piece replacement part for the middle section of the canopy. Erik
  8. I am building several Fouga Magister and I experience basically the same problems with the SH kit, but in particular with the middle section of the canopy, which is in two parts How did you fix them together ?
  9. STROP

    DIY Decals

    When you print on white decal paper , you should color the surrounding of your design with the background color of your model. On encyclopedia.com you can find the Hex code of most model paints. When you use this code for defining the background color on your print, you will get a good match with the painted model. And there is a guy in Holland who can print white and color on decal sheet : printmetwit.nl . The only "disadvantage", is that you need to fill an A4 sheet with your design.
  10. Apparently KP is continuing their fight with Special Hobby, the Valom kit with it's PE parts was not an easy to build kit, and more expensive than the SH. Let us see what the new parts will give.
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